Professional Mariner magazine, April 2012, reviewed some of the actions which contributed to the incident. There are lessons for all mariners in charge of a vessel, large or small. (1) Don’t be encouraged by people aboard into taking the vessel into waters that might be dangerous just to get a closer look at something or to give the people on shore a good look at your boat. A close-up view or a photo opportunity is not worth taking a risk. (2) If you decide to take the vessel into possibly unsafe waters what would you do if an essential system, such as the steering or the engine, fails? Do you know if there’s room for error? (3) Even when navigating in familiar waters always use at least two independent methods of fixing the vessel’s position at frequent intervals to be sure you stay in safe water. There’s a temptation to assume “I’ve done this route so often I can eyeball it.” These three points may be basic concepts to many boaters, but they were apparently forgotten or ignored in the Costa Concordia incident.
Priscilla Travis spends more than 110 days each year on the water, takes photos, and writes about nautical topics.